Deal: 2013 job creation hits record high

The Global Commerce Division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development produced a 10 percent increase in job creation during the state’s most recent fiscal year, Gov. Nathan Deal announced Friday.

Mando’s $80 million expansion in neighboring Meriwether County, creating 660 automotive jobs, was listed among selected projects of regional significance.

Statistics from the department show its 389 company expansion or location announcements generated 31,656 jobs and $6.07 billion in investment. These statistics indicate a continued trend of growth since the state’s 2009 fiscal year.

“These outstanding results indicate that Georgia is already perceived by companies large and small as the No. 1 place for business,” said Deal. “But we will not rest on those laurels. We will continue to cultivate a healthy, resourceful business environment that will attract the corporate expansion activity so important to providing greater opportunities for our citizens.”

The increase in jobs and investment during fiscal year 2013 came about despite a slight (6 percent) dip in the number of projects worked by GDEcD’s Global Commerce Division, and despite the challenge of overcoming high FY12 numbers impacted by large job and investment numbers announced that year by Caterpillar and Baxter, according to the Governor’s Office.

Of the total projects, 66 percent were the expansion of existing businesses that have had major investment or job creation in Georgia and 34 percent of the projects were from companies investing in Georgia for the first time.

A quarter of the new locations were by international companies establishing regional or hemispherical operations in Georgia. These international companies represented 1,187 jobs and $294 million in investment capital. Expansions of existing Georgia industries created 16,969 jobs, 54 percent of the total job creation and $4.34 billion in investment — almost three quarters of the total fiscal year investment.

The statistics reflect the department’s mission of creating jobs and investment throughout the state. More than half (18,065) of the jobs created and more than three quarters ($4.6 billion) of the state’s investment were generated outside of metro Atlanta. This job and investment creation represented 265 projects (68 percent) of the department’s announcements for the 2013 fiscal year.

“The previous fiscal year included several enormous projects, including Caterpillar and Baxter, that set a very high bar for the department,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “I’m proud that the hard work by our entire team, in collaboration with our many partners, enabled us to surpass that benchmark with even more job creation and investment.”

The Global Commerce Division also contributed to the growth and development of Georgia’s small businesses and entrepreneur-led ventures. The Entrepreneur and Small Business Office served 1,138 startups and small businesses, while 60 percent of the 1,050 companies served by the Existing Industry Team had fewer than 100 employees.

In addition to Mando, other projects of regional significance cited by the Governor’s Office include: (company, new or expansion, project value, total jobs, sector, county):

• Engineered Floors, LLC, new, $450M, 2,000 jobs, manufacturing, Whitfield;

• State Farm, new, $25M, 2,200 jobs, back office, DeKalb;

• General Motors, new, $26M, 1,000 jobs, software/technology, Fulton;

• AT&T, expansion, n/a, 600 jobs, business support, statewide;

• Airwatch, expansion, $4M, 800 jobs, software/technology, Fulton;

• Hostess Brands, LLC, new, $12.5, 400 jobs, food processing, Muscogee;

• Chapparal Boats, expansion, $1.25M, 300 jobs, manufacturing, Berrien;

• Medient, new, $90M, 250 jobs, digital media, Effingham;

• voestalpine Europlatinen GmbH, new, $100M, 220 jobs, automotive, Bartow;

• Tyson Foods, Inc., expansion, n/a, 149 jobs, food processing, Terrell;

• U.S. Pet Nutrition, expansion, $5M, 100 jobs, food processing, Toombs;

• Ethicon Inc., expansion, $185M, 75 jobs, manufacturing, Clarke.

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